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Chef Jeff Harris on the Puzzle of Winter Vegetables

Jeff Harris, who until recently served as executive chef at a restaurant known primarily for its proteins, is quoted as a squash expert in this month's issue of Garden & Gun.

The Southern lifestyle magazine turned to Harris, late of Craft, to help readers decipher the mysteries of wringing rich flavors from winter vegetables. Harris admits he was initially concerned when told he needed to come up with seasonal content for an article slated to hit newsstands in January.

"It's kind of tough, because it's between seasons," he says.

But he hit on squash, a naturally sweet vegetable that holds up to roasting.

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"It's really pretty versatile," Harris says. As with all vegetables, the secret to making a successful squash dish is to "start with buying (good product) and cook it simply," he adds.

Harris is now taking a break to spend time with his 2-week-old newborn, but still plans to open his own restaurant in April. He describes the eatery as a "more casual, tavern place." The restaurant will feature a patio with a brick oven and extensive late-night menu.

"It will be a place people want to come a few times a week," he says.

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